We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs. Learn More ›
I have a love-hate relationship with turkey vests. I love how a good vest keeps your gear handy, but hate the inability to place pockets where I want them and how a bulky vest snags on everything. I spend over 30 days chasing turkeys each spring for most of my life, so I’ve experimented with nearly every reasonable way to carry and organize gear through the woods. From generic box-store turkey vests modified with magnets in an attempt to better stow my seat cushion, to chest rigs and backpack combos, and most recently, the Tethrd M2 turkey vest, I’ve tried it all.
The M2 features a complete line of modular accessories that gives hunters plenty of options to build the ultimate tool for chasing gobblers. It is so adjustable that it can feel like a fitted garment—not your traditional, saggy turkey vest. You can make quick, quiet moves through the woods while your vest moves with you, not against you. This feature-loaded vest was designed in tandem with popular YouTubers and turkey hunting fanatics, The Hunting Public, and totes a $299 price tag.
Tethrd M2 Turkey Vest Specs and Features
With a few exceptions, turkey hunting vests are designed with a “one size fits all” approach. The M2 is a notable exception, especially when considering the components designed to allow hunters to mix and match their kit. This includes:
M2 Hydro Pack backpack or expandable bird bag (choose one, or add the other configuration for an additional $69.99)
M2 horizontal pouches for organized gear storage (add additional vertical pouches for $49.99)
M2 Belt (choose between small/medium for up to a 34-inch waist, or large for 36 inches and bigger)
M2 Yoke (one size fits all)
Proprietary WisprTUFF fabric in Mossy Oak Bottomland
Box call holder
Two pot call holders
Two stretch fit organizers that easily accept shotgun shells or your favorite strikers
Expandable, magnetic, shoulder-mounted diaphragm call storage
Internal diaphragm call storage
Two extra webbing straps
Pouches and Gear Organization
The Tethrd M2 Turkey Vest features specific storage for your calls. Erik Barber
You’re usually at the mercy of the manufacturer when it comes to the layout of your turkey vest. However, the modular nature of the M2 allows you to fully customize the placement of your turkey hunting essentials. As an example, I find it easier to store my strikers vertically in a pouch on my right hip rather than in a horizontal pouch. This makes for natural, effortless access to my gear, and frees up space for running my shotgun on a sling without contacting the pouch.
Here you can see the horizontal pouch (left) and vertical pouch (right).
Horizontal pouches have a small, zippered stash pocket inside the main pocket. I especially appreciate this, as it’s the perfect place to store the most underrated tool in any turkey hunter’s arsenal—a hand pruner. The ability to store the pruner in a compartment separate from the rest of your gear gives peace of mind that it won’t damage your favorite pot call while still allowing for fast access when you need it.
Expandable Bird Bag
Integrated cinch straps allow the expandable bird bag to fold flat against your lower back when you’re not carrying a large load. This allows hunters to maintain a sleek profile when sneaking through the woods, tucking any unnecessary, loose material into the vest to prevent noisy snags. A simple adjustment expands the bag large enough to pack decoys, extra gear, and, most importantly, a gobbler back to the truck after a successful hunt. The M2 bird bag is more functional than any other vest on the market. I’ve found bird bags tend to hang low onto the hips, even without gear weighing them down.
The Tethrd M2 Turkey Vest Hydra Pack acts as a day pack for water, gear, snacks, and essentials. Erik Barber
Designed to integrate with most hydration bladders, the M2 Hydro Pack is a small day pack that allows for extra gear organization. The Hydro Pack is ideal for those who don’t carry full size decoys or would rather pack their gobbler out over their shoulder with a turkey tote. The interior has a sleeve designed to separate your hydration bladder from the rest of your gear, along with a well-placed hook to hang it from. Two large, mesh pockets allow for organized gear storage inside the main bag that measures roughly 14 by 10 inches. A large stretch pocket on the outside of the bag is perfect for stowing an extra layer or collapsible decoy.
Testing the Tethrd M2 Turkey Vest in the Field
After unboxing the M2 vest, I was immediately drawn to the seemingly endless options to configure it. The vest has molle webbing conveniently stitched throughout and includes purpose-built accessories that easily connect to it. To test it, I built out the various loadout configurations Tethrd offers, including the M2 Hydro Pack, expandable bird bag, and experimenting with various configurations of the horizontal and vertical pockets. While testing, I reviewed the effort required to swap loadouts, easy access to gear, and how it fit.
The phrase “some assembly required” has always been a turnoff for me. However, I was surprised by how intuitive the various configurations pieced together. I put tremendous value on hunting clothing with an athletic fit that allows me to move quietly without loose, unnecessary fabric holding me back. I found the M2 vest had plenty of adjustability to dial in the fit for any body type, regardless of how many layers I was wearing. It took a few minutes to get adjusted and then it felt like an extension of my body, which is perfect for my style of run and gun turkey hunting.
You can even control the fit of the seat by adjusting the elastic tensioners. While this may sound like a small detail, I find a floppy seat to be the noisiest part of any turkey vest, especially when crawling into position for a final adjustment on a hung-up gobbler. When adjusted properly, the seat of the M2 vest rides tight against your back and “snaps” into place when you need to set up.
Tethrd worked with Mossy Oak to develop the WisprTUFF fabric that makes up the exterior of the M2 vest. Printed in Mossy Oak Bottomland, arguably the most popular pattern for turkey hunters, this material feels like a durable fleece finish that won’t snag or collect burrs.
Once I got the hang of it, I found I could transform the M2 vest to meet the demands of any hunting situation. Simply swap from the bird bag to hydro pack (or vice versa) by loosening the cinch straps on the hip belt. Once undone, remove the large hook and loop panel located on the hip belt and swap with whatever loadout you prefer. This includes:
Ultra-Minimalist: Go light and fast by connecting the yoke to your belt using the included 1-inch webbing material. This loadout provides plenty of storage for the bare necessities in the horizontal hip pouches, but removes the bird bag or hydro pack, ideal for quick hunts when mobility is critical.
The Minimalist: Using the M2 Hydro Pack, choose this setup for run-and-gun style hunts. This will be my go-to for most hunts, considering a collapsible decoy fits perfectly in the backpack sleeve. The interior pocket of the pack is perfect for stashing a turkey tote for hauling a gobbler out of the field, plus any extra storage for gear or snacks to chase gobblers in rugged terrain.
The Maximalist: Kit out the expandable bird bag by adding vertical pouches to the molle webbing on the back. Stow any extra gear (like decoys or extra layers) in the bird bag, and load the extra pockets with power banks, snacks, or anything else you need to spend a day in the woods.
What the Tethrd M2 Turkey Vest Does Best
The M2 vest is a blank canvas of modularity, complete with a full suite of accessories resulting in a kitted-out vest that’s tailor made for your individual hunting style. Plus, it’s adjustability provides a superior fit that’ll keep you comfortable when chasing gobbles through rugged terrain.
Where the Tethrd M2 Turkey Vest Can Improve
Complete modularity comes at a price, and adding the full lineup of accessories and pouches isn’t cheap.
Tethrd is known by whitetails hunters for making ultralight climbing sticks and saddles that arguably rekindled the recent craze of saddle hunting. The M2 vest is Tethrd’s first foray into turkey hunting gear, but with over two years of testing and development with the likes of Aaron Warbritton, Zach Ferenbaugh, and the rest of the THP team, it gives turkey hunters features other manufacturers have yet to bring to market and versatility for any hunting situation.
The post Tethrd M2 Turkey Vest Review: Is It Worth the Hype? appeared first on Outdoor Life.
Articles may contain affiliate links which enable us to share in the revenue of any purchases made.